Okay. So the Intellectual Hooligan recently acquired a new mobile phone.
Just as surely as night follows day, so followed – this evening – a pleasant phonecall from the warmhearted and considerate purveyors of mobile phone insurance.
"Great news, Mr Hooligan! We can halve the amount you're paying for insurance on your new phone!"
And, you know, he wasn't lying. Half of zero ... ?
Without allowing me the opportunity to explain exactly how easy it would be for him to halve my insurance costs and piss off, he launched straight into a lovingly-crafted spiel, the conclusion of which was something like:
"... So if I can just take down a few details, we'll get the stuff to you in the post and have you changed over and saving money in a few days."
At this point, I had my first opportunity to interject:
"Would you mind telling me what this is going to cost?"
"Well, you're currently paying £140 pounds a year, and this plan will halve that."
"I don't have mobile phone insurance."
To his credit, our man did not even pause:
"Yes, £140 is too expensive, isn't it? We can offer you cover for only £70!"
"Sorry, I'm still not interested."
"Are you sure?"
Here's where the guy deviated from the usual script. And from reality:
"You are dicing with death."
I am what?
Now, the Intellectual Hooligan is normally polite (some would say excessively so) to those who assail him with unsollicited sales calls. But his benevolence began to crumble at this juncture.
"Um ... Thanks for that."
"I'm serious. The Mobile Phone Grim Reaper is looking over your shoulder!"
Christ alive and breakdancing! What is this guy talking about?
"... Mate, you are dicing with death. Accidents happen ... And this cover basically allows you to safeguard your nice new phone against that!"
"Yes, I understand the principle of insurance. And have made a rational decision that I do not want to purchase it."
"Well ..." said our friend, in tones heavy with gentle can't-say-I-didn't-warn-you recrimination. "I'll do my best to call off the Mobile Phone Grim Reaper. But I'm afraid I just can't promise ..."